By all accounts, Hatchets were up against it here. The team were still in a state of rebuilding, having lost a great deal of first team members to lucrative contracts elsewhere. This was cruelly compounded by talisman co-captains Demik and Boyer still nursing long term injuries due to extra-curricular toe wrestling competitions. Such was the mental fortitude of this young team, that their spirits were still high.
The Hatchets had never come across the Annerly Axis of Evil, despite scout reports revealing this team has existed since 1939, little information existed of their style. This was probably related to their tradition of scalping fallen foes and wearing their faces as a mask as one report mused. The Hatchets lined up in their preferred 4-4-2 set up.
The whistle blew, the game kicked off. Both teams seemed content for the moment to be testing each other out. Annerley began going particularly hard into tackles, bringing down players wherever the opportunity to do so presented itself. This proved extremely dangerous as the slightly ruffled Hatchets began to let a few loose balls through into dangerous areas, resulting in heavy bombardment from the Axis. Had it not been for the steel of the defensive duo of Burgher and Rigby as well as shot-stopper Campbell who repelled the attack, Herston would have seen some unfortunate goals put away.
Eventually the pendulum began to swing back, the tactical, technical superiority of the Hatchets became telling, smooth midfield play from Seidel and Janzekovic slipped fleet-footed Amin through into goal. His shot cruelly deflected, but fell to the feet of the ever dangerous winger, Nick Anthony, who caressed his shot to the bottom left corner. 1-0 ALLIES!
It became evident the Axis of Evil could not handle the tidy midfield linkup as a few quick touches devastated the defense of the Axis of Evil and Sonesh Amin was put through one-on-one with the keeper. Before he could get a shot away however, he was cruelly cut down by an Axis soldier, sorry, centre-half. Up to take the free kick just outside the box was sharpshooter Burrage. The beautiful, dipping shot fooled the keeper and nestled in to the top left corner. 2-0 good guys!
The Axis proved weary from the long Russian winter, and everything began to go the Hatchets way. The Axis was outgunned and wave after wave assaulted the Axis’ defensive line. Scrappy, desperate play within the box of Annerley became the norm and after a poor clearance from the right back, the ball fell to Janzekovic’s feet who didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger and add a third goal to the Axis’ misery.
The white flag had already been waved but there were still 20 minutes to go. Build up play from Irelandes, Alim and Brunckhorst allowed the onrushing Nick Anthony to outflank the defense and cooly stroke the ball past the hapless keeper into the back of the net for his brace; 4-0!
Finally, when the Axis was all but wiped out, it was an all American affair as Amin found himself with enough energy to carve his way through the back line showing those trademark close-quarter combat skills. Amin beat 3 defenders as he squared a ball to Anthony to put away his third and round a tremendous night in front of goal for the match ball.
The whistle blew to the sighs of relief of Annerley, the game ended 5-0. The victory celebrations went long into the night.
In the back of their minds however, the Hatchets knew that next week they again face their cross town rivals, QUTFC. And it would be a bloody battle.